Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2
- Sep 28, 2011
The Appeasement of Paris | National Review OnlineAs Russia absorbs Crimea and masses 60,000 troops on Ukraine's border, is the West serious about sanctions against Moscow?
The best test could come this Tuesday, when the defense and foreign ministers of Russia and France are scheduled to meet for long-planned talks on relations between the two countries. French president FranÃ§ois Hollande has already announced that "there will be sanctions Monday on visas and assets of a certain number of [Russian] individuals if there is no de-escalation." But he absolutely must go further.
Three years ago, France signed a military contract worth $1.7 billion to build two advanced-technology Mistral-class helicopter carriers for Russia, with an option to build two more. The first carrier, Vladivostok, conducted its sea trials earlier this month and is set to arrive in Moscow later this year. A Russian crew is already being trained on the ship, currently berthed in the French port of Saint-Nazaire. A sister ship, Sebastopol — ironically named after the chief port of Crimea — is set for delivery to the Russian navy late in 2015.